Stephen J. Cannell

Stephen J. Cannell

Known For: Creator · Birthday: 1941-02-05 · Deathday: 2010-09-30 (69 years old) · Gender: Male · Place of Birth: Los Angeles - California - USA

41 Movies · 48 TV shows

Also Known As: Stephen Joseph Cannell

Biography

Stephen Joseph Cannell (; February 5, 1941 – September 30, 2010) was an American television producer, writer, novelist, and occasional actor, and the founder of Cannell Entertainment (formerly Stephen J. Cannell Productions) and the Cannell Studios.After starting his career as a television screenwriter, Cannell created or co-created several dozen successful TV series from the 1970s to the 1990s, often with his creative partner Frank Lupo. Cannell's creations included The Rockford Files, The A-Team, The Greatest American Hero, 21 Jump Street, and The Commish. He also wrote novels, notably the Shane Scully mystery series.

Personal Life

Cannell married his high school sweetheart, Marcia, in 1964. He "asked her to go steady in the eighth grade". Together they had two daughters, Tawnia and Chelsea, and two sons, Cody and Derek. Derek died in 1981 at age 15 when a sand castle he was building at the beach collapsed and suffocated him. This tragedy had occurred during the filming of the "Captain Bellybuster" episode of The Greatest American Hero. Actor William Katt (an expert musician) wrote a song for Cannell, titled, "Cody the Cowboy". Cannell was so touched by this gift that he named his next son Cody in honor of the song.Cannell was dyslexic, and was a spokesman on the subject. According to an episode of Paul Harvey's The Rest of the Story, Cannell frequently had to dictate ideas or even complete scripts with the help of his personal secretary Grace Curcio, an employee of 20 years. Following Grace's retirement in 2003, Kathy Ezso became his editor and executive assistant. He discussed his experiences as a dyslexic in the 2009 documentary Dislecksia: The Movie.Cannell wrote on a typewriter, an IBM Selectric, when not dictating to an assistant, and only used a computer for research purposes.Cannell died on September 30, 2010, from complications of melanoma. He is interred at Forest Lawn Memorial Park in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles.

Early Life

Cannell was born in Los Angeles, and raised in nearby Pasadena. He was the son of Carolyn (née Baker) and Joseph Knapp Cannell. Joseph owned the highly successful interior decorating company Cannell and Chaffin. Cannell struggled with dyslexia in school, but did graduate from the University of Oregon in 1964 with a Bachelor of science degree in journalism. At UO, he joined the Sigma Chi fraternity. The 2009 documentary Dislecksia: The Movie features an interview with Cannell, in which he discusses his struggles with dyslexia and how he managed to be such a successful writer despite his difficulties reading. During the interview, he mentions how he used to hire typists to overcome his "spelling problem", as he refers to his dyslexia, but also describes how he feels his condition has enriched his life.

Movies & TV shows

2014.

1 Movie
22 Jump Street

22 Jump Street

6
2014
After making their way through high school, big changes are in store for the officers when they go undercover at a local college. They begin to question their partnership when Jenko meets a kindred sp...

2012.

1 Movie
21 Jump Street

21 Jump Street

6
2012
The popular jock in high school was Jenko. After graduation, they joined the police force and became partners riding bikes in the city park. Since they are young and look like high school students, th...

2010.

1 Movie
The A-Team

The A-Team

6.28
2010
A group of Iraq War veterans are on the run. Military forces are trying to clear their names after being framed for a crime they didn't commit. Along the way, Col. Capt. Hannibal Smith. H.M. Sgt. Howl...

2009.

1 TV show
TV
Castle

Castle

6.85
2009
After a serial killer imitates the plots of his novels, successful mystery novelist Richard "Rick" Castle gets permission from the Mayor of New York City to tag along with an NYPD homicide investigati...

2008.

1 Movie
The Poker House

The Poker House

2008
In a home overrun by gamblers, thieves, and johns, Agnes and her two sisters struggle through a day.

2007.

1 Movie · 1 TV show
TV
Army Wives

Army Wives

2007
The lives of four army wives, one army husband, and their families are chronicled in an American drama series called Army Wives.
Ice Spiders

Ice Spiders

2007
When a young ski team training for the Olympics arrives at the remote and isolated Lost Mountain Ski Resort to focus on training, they're thrilled to find a retired Olympic skier is there to help them...

2006.

3 Movies
The Garden

The Garden

2006
A troubled young boy and his father on a road trip stumbles upon a rural farm where the elderly owner has sinister plans for the two of them.
The Tooth Fairy

The Tooth Fairy

2006
A woman and her daughter are at a bed-and-breakfast.
Left In Darkness

Left In Darkness

2006
Freddy vs. Monica. There was a mother who died in childbirth and a father who disappeared. Death is not easy for Celia. When she is drugged and raped at a frat party, she dies from an overdose, and mu...

2005.

2 Movies
It Waits

It Waits

2005
A female park Ranger is trying to find a vicious creature that is killing people at a remote national park.
Demon Hunter

Demon Hunter

2005
Cardinal White learns that the demon Asmodeus is pregnant with many mortals trying to raise offspring after Jake Greyman reports to him. Cardinal White called Sister Sarah Ryan to help Jake find Asmod...

2003.

2 Movies
Hunter: Back in Force

Hunter: Back in Force

2003
Lieutenent Rick Hunter, now of San Diego Police Department, along with his 'new' partner Sergeant Dee Dee McCall, must track down a group of women bank robbers who appear to be behind bars when the cr...
Threshold

Threshold

2003
Alien seeds hitch a ride to earth in a space shuttle. They will be unstoppable when they reach the Threshold amount.

2002.

5 Movies
Hunter: Return to Justice

Hunter: Return to Justice

2002
On enforced leave following a failed drug bust, LAPD Lieutenant Rick Hunter heads to San Diego, where he catches up with former partner Dee Dee McCall. But upon their reunion, Hunter and McCall become...
Dead Above Ground

Dead Above Ground

2002
Jeff Lucas is already an ostracized person, but when he makes a horror film instead of a documentary for a class project, his classmates ridicule him and start to abuse him. A troubled student is pres...
Dawg

Dawg

2002
To inherit a million dollars, an egotistical man must find the women he's betrayed and convince them to forgive him.
Half Past Dead

Half Past Dead

2002
A man goes undercover in a hi-tech prison to find out information about those who killed his wife. He stumbled onto a plot involving a death-row inmate and his gold.

1999.

1 Movie
The Rockford Files: If It Bleeds... It Leads

The Rockford Files: If It Bleeds... It Leads

1999
Jim Rockford must help a friend unjustly accused of child molestation.

1998.

1 Movie · 1 TV show
TV
V.I.P.

V.I.P.

6
1998
While attending a Hollywood premiere with a famous action star, a crazed fan pulls a gun, but her movie hunk turns into a Coward. Suddenly, she's thrown into a world of action and danger as owner of a...
CHiPs '99

CHiPs '99

1998
Ponch returned to the police force to help his friend Jon investigate car thefts.

1997.

1 Movie
The Rockford Files: Shoot-Out at the Golden Pagoda

The Rockford Files: Shoot-Out at the Golden Pagoda

1997
After a quiet fishing trip, Rockford is tricked into taking over a fellow PI's case, which lands him in the hospital, hounded by a beautiful reporter, and out of favor with the entire Police Deapartme...

1996.

6 Movies · 2 TV shows
The Rockford Files: Godfather Knows Best

The Rockford Files: Godfather Knows Best

1996
There are eight "Rockford Files" reunion TV movies.
Wiseguy

Wiseguy

1996
The son of computer mogul Paul Callendar was kidnapped in order to investigate possible inside information brokering. McPike is having a hard time working with his boss, who doesn't think McPike is wo...
The Rockford Files: If the Frame Fits...

The Rockford Files: If the Frame Fits...

1996
Jim Rockford, is framed for the murder of another rival detective with whom Jim was seen having an argument.
TV
E! True Hollywood Story

E! True Hollywood Story

1996
A documentary series on E! deals with famous Hollywood celebrities, movies, TV shows and also well-known public figures. salacious re-tellings of Hollywood secrets, show-biz scandals, celebrity murder...
The Rockford Files: Punishment and Crime

The Rockford Files: Punishment and Crime

1996
Jim and his car become involved in another case when he runs across an old flame. Everyone's life is in danger because Patrick is involved with the Russian Mob. Jim's trailer is being painted to help ...
TV
Profit

Profit

10
1996
In 1996 the Fox Broadcasting Company aired Profit. The series was created by two people. February of 2008 was when the first episodes of Chiller in the USA aired. The show is a progenitor of more rece...
The Rockford Files: Friends and Foul Play

The Rockford Files: Friends and Foul Play

1996
An friend of Jim's continues to seek his help for her murdered son, but when she winds up dead not long after an altercation with the mafia man, Jim must must do what it takes to put both her soul and...
Them

Them

1996
There is a remake of the sci fi classic.

1995.

1 Movie · 1 TV show
The Rockford Files: A Blessing in Disguise

The Rockford Files: A Blessing in Disguise

1995
The televangelical ministry of Angel decided to boycott the movie because of its star.
TV
Marker

Marker

1995
Marker is an American hour long television drama that premiered on the UPN on March 20, 1995. It is set in and was filmed in Hawaii. The series focuses on Richard DeMorra, a man given a strange inher...

1994.

2 Movies · 2 TV shows
The Rockford Files: I Still Love L.A.

The Rockford Files: I Still Love L.A.

1994
A detective is investigating the death of a wealthy woman whose two grown children are accused of murdering her. Angel and Kit represent the children.
TV
Traps

Traps

1994
CBS aired a police drama called Traps from March 31, 1994 to April 27, 1994.
TV
Hawkeye

Hawkeye

1994
Hawkeye is a television series, airing in syndication for one season during 1994-1995, and produced by Stephen J. Cannell. The series was filmed in North Vancouver and Vancouver, British Columbia, Can...
Greyhounds

Greyhounds

1994
Retired sherriff, judge, coroner and con-man team up to solve crimes. Pilot. From http://www.cannell.com/tv-show-detail/18/greyhounds.html GREYHOUNDS is an action drama starring Dennis Weaver, Rober...

1993.

1 Movie · 3 TV shows
TV
Missing Persons

Missing Persons

1993
A short-lived American crime drama is set in Chicago. Each episode usually followed the investigation into three or more cases. It aired on ABC from August 30, 1993 to February 17, 1994. Local Chicago...
TV
Diagnosis: Murder

Diagnosis: Murder

6.46
1993
Dr. Mark Sloan is a good-natured, offbeat physician who is called upon to solve murders.
Posse

Posse

1993
A group of mostly black infantrymen return from the Spanish-American War with a cache of gold. Their leader searches for the men who killed his father.
TV
Cobra

Cobra

1993
Cobra is an American television action/adventure series starring Michael Dudikoff. It ran for just one season in syndication.

1992.

3 TV shows
TV
The Hat Squad

The Hat Squad

1992
The Hat Squad is a crime drama television series that ran for only one season on CBS, during the 1992–1993 season. 13 episodes were made, but only 11 of them aired.
TV
Renegade

Renegade

1992
Framed for murder, Detective Reno Raines becomes a fugitive bounty hunter who fights crime while trying to clear his name. His troubles began after he testified. Donald set him up.
TV
Love & War

Love & War

1992
Love & War is an American television sitcom, which aired on CBS from September 21, 1992 to February 1, 1995. Created by Diane English, the series originally starred Susan Dey as Wally Porter, a Chica...

1991.

1 Movie · 5 TV shows
The Great Pretender

The Great Pretender

1991
A newspaper reporter who just won a trial against his newspaper which fired him, suffers dangerous reprisals at his work.
TV
The 100 Lives of Black Jack Savage

The 100 Lives of Black Jack Savage

1991
Stephen J is the producer of The 100 Lives of Black Jack Savage. Cannell is associated with Disney Television. The show started as a movie. The program lasted less than a season. The series was called...
TV
Scene of the Crime

Scene of the Crime

1991
Scene of the Crime was a mystery anthology series that aired on CBS in 1991 and 1992 as part of the Crimetime After Primetime late-night block. The program used a regular cast who played different cha...
TV
The Commish

The Commish

6
1991
The Police Commissioner of a small upstate city is a former Brooklyn cop. This is not a desk job for Scali. He's a compassionate boss, a loving husband and father, and a law enforcement officer with a...
TV
Palace Guard

Palace Guard

1991
Palace Guard is a drama series Palace Guard is the story of a reformed jewel thief and cat burglar, Tommy Logan, who, after serving three years in prison, is released on parole and accepts an offer t...
TV
Silk Stalkings

Silk Stalkings

1991
Silk Stalkings is a crime drama. The series depicts the daily lives of two detectives who solve crimes of passion among the ultra-rich of Palm Beach, Florida.

1990.

1 TV show
TV
Broken Badges

Broken Badges

1990
There is a police drama called Broken Badges.

1989.

1 Movie · 3 TV shows
Thunderboat Row

Thunderboat Row

1989
A group of several different la enforcement agencies along with a race boat driver come together with a common goal of stopping the drug traffic to the US.
TV
Unsub

Unsub

1989
Unsub was on NBC from February 3 to April 14, 1989. The FBI forensic team investigates serial murderers and other violent crimes. Unsub is the subject of an investigation.
TV
Top of the Hill

Top of the Hill

1989
Top of the Hill was a political drama series that aired on CBS in 1989.
TV
Booker

Booker

1989
Booker is an American crime drama series starring Richard Grieco that aired on the Fox Network from September 24, 1989 to May 6, 1990. The series is a spin-off of 21 Jump Street and the second install...

1988.

1 TV show
TV
Sonny Spoon

Sonny Spoon

1988
Sonny Spoon is a detective program aired in the United States on the NBC television network in 1988. The series was created by Michael Daly, Dinah Prince, Stephen J. Cannell and Randall Wallace and pr...

1987.

3 TV shows
TV
J.J. Starbuck

J.J. Starbuck

1987
J.J. Starbuck was a crime drama that aired on NBC from 1987 to 1988. Starbuck is a billionaire Texan who wears ten-gallon hats, cowboy boots and fancy western shirts. He drives a flashy limousine with...
TV
21 Jump Street

21 Jump Street

8
1987
21 Jump Street is about a group of young cops who use their youthful appearance to go undercover and solve crimes involving teenagers and young adults.
TV
Wiseguy

Wiseguy

6
1987
He was an agent for the OCB during his time in a New Jersey penitentiary. His roots in a traditional Italian city neighborhood form the underlying dramatic base of the series, bringing him into confli...

1986.

1 TV show
TV
The Last Precinct

The Last Precinct

1986
The Last Precinct aired on NBC from January to May 1986. The star of the series is Adam West. Rick Wright leads a group of misfit police academy rejects. Stephen J is the pilot. Within two months of i...

1985.

2 Movies · 1 TV show
Brothers-in-Law

Brothers-in-Law

1985
The 1985 TV movie was Brothers-in-Law.
Stingray

Stingray

1985
A district attorney is kidnapped by a criminal who has a deranged doctor do something to him that leaves him with the mind of a child. His assistant is looking for a man who is only known by the car h...
TV
Stingray

Stingray

1985
Ray is an adventurer who travels from place to place fighting crime and helping people in trouble. He doesn't want to be paid for his services, but he must be given a favor.

1984.

2 TV shows
TV
Riptide

Riptide

6
1984
Riptide is an American TV detective series that ran on NBC from December 3, 1983 to August 22, 1986, starring Perry King, Joe Penny, and Thom Bray. Riptide was created by Frank Lupo and Stephen J. Can...
TV
Hunter

Hunter

1984
Frank Lupo is the creator of Hunter, a police drama series that features Fred Dryer as Sgt. They were Rick Hunter and Stepfanie Kramer. Dee Dee McCall was on NBC from 1984 to 1991. After the sixth sea...

1983.

3 TV shows
TV
The A-Team

The A-Team

4
1983
A fictional group of ex- United States Army Special Forces personnel are on the run from the Army after being branded as war criminals for a "crime they didn't commit".
TV
The Rousters

The Rousters

1983
The Rousters is a 1983 NBC television series about a group of modern-day bounty hunters who are descendants of legendary lawman Wyatt Earp. Despite advertising claims that this series would "sink The ...
TV
Hardcastle and McCormick

Hardcastle and McCormick

5.71
1983
Stephen J is the creator of Hardcastle and McCormick. Cannell productions was shown on ABC from 1983 to 1986 Brian Keith is the judge in the series. Daniel Hugh Kelly is an ex-con and race car driver....

1982.

1 TV show
TV
The Quest

The Quest

1982
The Quest aired on ABC from October to November 1982. Stephen J produced the series. Cannell was canceled after five episodes.

1981.

1 TV show
TV
The Greatest American Hero

The Greatest American Hero

1981
A group of aliens give a teacher a red suit that allows him to do crazy things. He has to learn how to use his powers by trial and error because he hates wearing the suit.

1980.

1 Movie · 3 TV shows
Nightside

Nightside

1980
Danny Dandoy is a good-humored, street-wise cop working the dusk to dawn shift in Los Angeles with his somewhat naive new partner Macey in this supposed pilot for a new TV series.
TV
Stone

Stone

1980
There was a police drama on NBC between January 14 and March 17 of 1980. The series was called Stephen J. Cannell Production is associated with a production company. Cannell, Richard Levinson and Will...
TV
Magnum, P.I.

Magnum, P.I.

5.61
1980
A private investigator who works when he wants, lives in a beachfront estate in Hawaii, runs up an unlimited tab at a swank bar, and charms attractive women in peril - that's the lifestyle of Thomas M...
TV
Tenspeed and Brown Shoe

Tenspeed and Brown Shoe

1980
Tenspeed and Brown Shoe were broadcasted on the ABC network. The series was created and produced by Stephen J. Cannell.

1979.

1 TV show
TV
The Duke

The Duke

1979
The Duke aired on NBC from April 5 to May 18, 1979.

1978.

2 Movies
The Jordan Chance

The Jordan Chance

1978
Jordan Chance was wrongly imprisoned for ten years. He became a lawyer and investigated the case of a Mexican woman who was convicted of murder. The local police will stop at nothing to prevent the ca...
The Gypsy Warriors

The Gypsy Warriors

1978
The formula for a deadly Nazi toxin is needed by American soldiers in this World War II adventure.

1977.

1 Movie
The November Plan

The November Plan

1977
A private detective is looking into a suspected overthrow of the U.S. The government. It is based on The Business Plot of 1933.

1976.

1 Movie · 2 TV shows
The Flying Misfits

The Flying Misfits

1976
The adventures of Major Gregory "Pappy" Boyington and his Marines in World War II were dramatized. The film was the pilot for the television series. A former U.S. Greg "Pappy" Boyington is a marine pi...
TV
City of Angels

City of Angels

1976
Stephen J created the television series City of Angels. Roy and Cannell worked together on The Rockford Files. Max Allan Collins is an American mystery novelist.
TV
Black Sheep Squadron

Black Sheep Squadron

5.6
1976
The adventures of Major Gregory "Pappy" Boyington and his Marines in World War II were dramatized.

1975.

1 TV show
TV
Baretta

Baretta

6
1975
The American detective television series Baretta was aired by ABC. Tony Musante played a New Jersey police officer in the ABC series Toma. Toma was criticized for its depiction of police and criminal ...

1974.

1 TV show
TV
The Rockford Files

The Rockford Files

7
1974
L.A is likable. PI Jim Rockford takes a lot of them. An ex-con sent to the slammer for a crime he didn't commit, Rockford takes on cases others don't want, aided by his tough old man, his lawyer girlf...

1973.

1 Movie · 2 TV shows
TV
Chase

Chase

1973
The NBC network aired Chase from September 11, 1973 to August 28, 1974. The first show created by Stephen J was a production of Mark VII for Universal Television. Cannell created and/or produced his o...
TV
Toma

Toma

1973
Toma ran on ABC in the 70's and 80's.
Toma

Toma

1973
This TV-pilot, later made into a TV-series, is about a cop in Newark, New Jersey, who defies his superiors to try to bring down the head of a Mafia numbers racket.

1971.

1 TV show
TV
Columbo

Columbo

4.89
1971
Columbo is a police detective who is often underestimated by his suspects. He solved all of his cases and secured all the evidence needed for an indictment despite his unprepossessing appearance. Only...

1968.

1 TV show
TV
Adam-12

Adam-12

7.5
1968
Adam-12 is a television police drama that followed two police officers of the Los Angeles Police Department, Pete Malloy and Jim Reed, as they patrolled the streets of Los Angeles in their patrol unit...

Unknown Year.

1 Movie
Dr. Scorpion

Dr. Scorpion

A retired spy is lured back into action to take down a mad scientist.
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